DMO Marketing Fund

The Escape the Everyday Destination Management Organisations’ Recovery Marketing Fund (“the Fund”) provides the opportunity for DMOs to apply for grant funding to deliver local marketing activities aligned to the national campaign. 

DMOs will need to work with local tourism businesses to create Escape the Everyday guides and content which must include bookable product experiences available for the consumer to purchase on their own destination websites. 

The Fund will operate from 1 January to 31 March 2021

The key aims and objectives of the Fund are to support England’s tourism industry through recovery by:

  • Amplifying and extending the reach of the UK-wide Escape the Everyday campaign to England’s destinations (focusing on the priority audiences of pre-school families and pre-nesters) through paid local marketing activity
  • Generating bookings from the sale of product experiences which can be directly attributed to the campaign activity. 

Participation in this new Fund offers DMOs the following opportunities:

  • Ability to feature their destination, messages and products in the Escape the Everyday campaign and bolster the national campaign with distinctive local content and ideas for a short break or day trip.
  • Drive bookings and conversion through consumer-facing DMO websites, aided by a dedicated marketing budget driving traffic to a campaign landing webpage.
  • Ability for DMOs to run paid local digital and social media activity raising awareness of their product and driving traffic to their website with the aim of increasing sales revenues for local tourism businesses.
  • Track actual consumer booking data and help to understand better the consumer profile of those people booking.
  • Provide consumers with example content guides or itineraries that showcase the range of experiences available and encourage them to explore the destination more deeply.
  • Ability to generate additional earned value by promoting the featured itineraries through Press and PR channels.

Eligibility criteria

To apply DMOs in England must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be legally incorporated as either a company limited by shares or guarantee, a community interest company, a local authority tourism services department or a tourism business improvement district (TBID).
  • Have a destination consumer-facing website with booking functionality. This means that the consumer can purchase bookable product experiences directly, staying on the DMO website to fulfil their transaction i.e. through their own booking functionality or TXGB or equivalent. 
  • Have in-house expertise and skilled staff-members in post who will be responsible for the activation and delivery of this local campaign opportunity.
  • Have campaign creative for social and digital channels ready to go, which can easily integrate the Escape the Everyday message. For the sake of clarity, print and ‘out of home’ (OOH) are media channels that are not being considered because the campaign needs to be agile and responsive if local COVID-19 restrictions quickly change and media has to cease. All local campaign activities will need to be fully delivered between 1 January and 31 March 2021 as the budget resource must be spent in this financial year.
  • The DMO must comply with the COVID-19 State Aid Temporary Framework for UK Authorities.  As part of your application, you will need to complete a template to evidence how much State aid financial assistance the DMO has been granted from all public sector bodies and local authorities to date. If a DMO has received in total more than €800,000 in aid received under the Temporary Framework, then it cannot claim any further financial assistance by applying to this Fund.  As we intend to contract with successful applicants before 31 December 2020, current EU State Aid rules will apply even though delivery will occur after the EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement has expired. See section on State aid.

The following types of companies and organisations cannot apply:

  • DMOs without any form of legal status;
  • Online travel agents;
  • Travel agents;
  • Tour operators;
  • Industry bodies;
  • Membership organisations representing solely a sectional interest-group within the tourism and hospitality industries e.g. hotelier associations, attractions groupings.

Guidance for application

Activities to be delivered by DMOs

DMOs must demonstrate that they can deliver the following:

  • Source and feature a minimum of 10 bookable product experiences from local businesses that will be open during the winter and early spring period of this recovery campaign.  A minimum of 2 of these bookable product experiences should be suitable for those with accessibility needs. For the sake of clarity, the experiences need to be bookable online directly on the DMO’s own website.
  • Production of content guides or example itineraries covering the local area that features the participating tourism businesses and signposts consumers to experiences that align with the Escape the Everyday campaign and at least one of the three need-states (see below).
  • Create a dedicated Escape the Everyday campaign landing page on the DMO website.  This must reflect the relevant branding and feature relevant content and bookable experiences, with a clear customer journey to fulfil the booking on the website.
  • Develop a channel marketing plan detailing how the DMO intends to promote their Escape the Everyday Campaign example itinerary or content guide aimed at generating traffic to the website in order to encourage bookings.
  • Plan and deliver a paid marketing campaign with Escape the Everyday branded assets, to be approved by VisitEngland, across appropriate digital and social media channels to drive traffic to their campaign landing page.
  • Commit to using the Escape the Everyday toolkit and branding.
  • All campaign imagery must have rights cleared for usage across paid, owned and earned channels with the relevant paperwork in place, including model and location releases.
  • Submission of a post-campaign report outlining key successes and achievements, including total reach, engagement, social media shares and the value and number of bookable product experiences sold.